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There’s no doubt about it. This has been a tumultuous Lent for many of us.  But tomorrow we celebrate a reminder that Christ is risen for us.

And that means all of us.  The crabby ones. The disorganized ones.  The baffled ones.  Even the ones who rejected Him yelling “Crucify him!” just days after greeting him with waving palm branches.

And he forgave them.  He forgives us all.  He washes us clean.

Honor your soul.  It isn’t easy but try to leave some of the anger at the foot of the cross.  Don’t look back.  Look forward.  Step out as a guardian of nature, a messenger of wonder, or an architect of peace.

–SueBE

 

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Ready or not, here Easter comes.  I understand the feeling that Lori shared.  I feel like I’m tumbling into Easter which is, apparently, in three days.  You know how it goes – you know it is just around the corner but three days?  That little reality hit me yesterday as I listened to the preacher speak at a friend’s funeral service.

He was one of those people who was a champion at building something out of the stones that life through his way. He had to be.  The 9th of 10 children, he was 2 when his father died during the Great Depression.  It would have been easy to grow up a child of sorrow but that wasn’t Roy’s way.  When my son didn’t get the college scholarship he needed to attend his school of choice, Roy heard him out.

“So you’ll take this other one for two years and its a full scholarship?  Sounds like a good deal.” Roy wasn’t going to let him focus on the down side.

Things seldom go the way we plan.  People are seldom as cooperative and sunny as we would like.  We can mourn the reality of this or we can take what we have and build something new.

The life of a carpenter or even a rabbi would have been easier, but Christ walked towards the passion knowing his suffering would bring grace for those of us who could never achieve it on our own.

–SueBE

 

I’m not ready yet. For Easter, that is. Or maybe I’m too ready. It’s hard to tell. Certainly, Lent has been a rocky path, fraught with revelation and woe. I feel as though my body has been washed up on the shore of Holy Thursday, and I haven’t a clue what to do next. Wash some feet? Build a radio out of coconuts?

Lent is not supposed to be a time of despair. It is, in fact, a glorious time, in which we celebrate what Jesus was willing to do for us: He suffered; we got life eternal. Quite possibly the best deal in history, and we didn’t have to lift a finger. Still, it’s hard not to feel mixed emotions.

Why are we placed in this state of contradiction?
The daffodils say spring but the sky says winter.
We are dying. We are never dying at all.
We are rising like bread; we are falling like rain.
Somehow Good Friday amends into Easter —
a miracle, clearly, but sudden. So sudden.
Do we sit at the tomb till we’re ready? Or
do we wonder at apparitions? Run tell the gospel
or wait for a Pentecost just beyond our line of sight?
Salvation comes at a gallop. I mouth prayers
and hope for the courage to jump on.

This is a tough one for me.  As a nonfiction writer, I spend a great deal of time searching out facts and using them to build credible arguments to support an idea.  I have to remember that when I get up from my desk, I’m dealing with people.  Flawed, feeling, contradictory people.  And the hardest thing to remember?  I’m one of them.

–SueBE

 

Simple choices and small actions may not seem like a lot. But choice by choice, action by action they add up.  It is your choice to build good habits or bad.

I’m not going to say that I always succeed in making smart choices or in doing the right thing. Most days I’ll look back on something I said or something I didn’t do and which I’d made a different choice.

Fortunately, today is a new day.  Today I will be faced with choices.  Hopefully I’ll make compassionate decisions.

–SueBE

Wander long. Not wonder long. 

I have to admit that I’m more prone to the latter than the former.  I used to think of it as a writer thing. We have strong imaginations. But now I’m seeing it with people who are big into social media too.  Writers and social media lovers seem to have something in common – we are so good at imagining is the worst.  What if I was to hit a patch of ice while driving over this bridge?  Buy this tool to cut seat belts and smash windows. What if that noise is someone trying to get into the house?  Instant solution – cameras even in the door bell.

If you brain doesn’t play these games, you probably don’t get it.  And that’s cool.  Because those of us who have these tendencies need people who don’t have them to ground us.  That’s one of the many ways my husband is perfect for me.

Don’t you think–

No.

Don’t you worry —

No.

What if–

Let’s go for a walk.

Wandering is an ideal cure for wondering.  Is it the movement?  Is it the fact that when you get out of your head and off your screen and out among real people. I don’t think it is any coincidence that Christ spent so much time with the people.  To be known, you have to be seen.  To know, you have to see.

Definitely a lesson I need to relearn.  Time to go wandering.

–SueBE

 

Thunder and storms.  That’s what our area is experiencing today.  That last thunderclap actually rattled the roof.

It’s hard not to wish the rain away.  I’d rather be doing some weeding and prepping my garden for spring.  But rain is necessary for those spring plantings to grow – the basil and thyme I have sprouting in here on my windowsills.

Hope and positive thoughts are  much the same way.  Today may not be my ideal day, but I can carry that small light for tomorrow.

God sends the rains but he also sends the spring blossoms.

–SueBE

The Hubble Space Telescope recently recorded a spectacular cosmic clash – two galaxies colliding into a kind of hostile merger. Even with all that space in space (!) these two blooming galaxies have to duke it out, jostling for a spot.

Doesn’t it seem as if there’s always someone with another perspective ready to tussle with you? I found it interesting how this news story was framed in dramatically different ways:

At Long Last, Flat Earth Rocketeer Finally Manages to Blast Himself Into the Sky at God Knows What Speed

Self Taught Rocket Scientist Finally Blasts Off Into California Sky

Whatever impression you may form of “Mad Mike” Hughes, there’s no denying that he put his life on the line for his beliefs.

Today, across the country, March for Our Lives rallies were held in support of gun control. It was a moment in which the youth made themselves heard.

As with every heated subject, some disagreed with the focus of the march. Former Senator Rick Santorum made waves by saying students should learn CPR, not worry about gun laws.

Still, no matter where you fall on the political spectrum, it’s hard not to admire the passion and principle of these student leaders. They’re going all in, as if they’re in the fight of their lives.

Pope Francis spoke to a crowd during his Palm Sunday address, encouraging young people to continue speaking up. “Even if others keep quiet, if we older people and leaders – so often corrupt – keep quiet, if the whole world keeps quiet…I ask you: Will you cry out?”

As march thunders to a close with a calendar chock full of Holy Week activities and more, I find myself a little down.  A little blue. Slightly discontent.

It could be me.  A personal flaw.  A tragic leaning.

But I talked to several others who have lately shared this same feeling.  Especially when that is the case, I think that we can agree, something in our environment needs to change.

Just this week, we lost a friend to cancer.  He suffered only a short while but he will be missed in our choir and our hearts.

Things have also been hectic.  Part of that will naturally end this week as we pass through Holy Week.  But I think I need to pay more attention to the calendar and make sure some fun things get scheduled.  I’ve been sitting on 4 tickets to the botanical garden, a bookstore gift card, and a restaurant gift card for about 7 weeks now.  No time!

I think that needs to change.  Some time Easter weekend I think I may be taking my husband out for a date night and using one of my gift cards.

And as long as I’m planning things, I think it is time to get another Wool Gathering (knitting and craft night with friends) on the calendar. We all need to see a shift in our environments.

–SueBE

 

Recently I read a fascinating op ed from a New York Times employee.  He talked about how he noticed that he always had his phone nearby. When he was at work.  When he was with his family.  On the commute.

Then he made a decision.  He no longer reads news online.  It doesn’t matter now if it is something from White House, a protest, or a lockdown.  He reads it in print but not on the paper’s web site.  Not on Facebook.

What has he noticed – he no longer gets caught up in false reports, fake news, or unsubstantiated rumors.  He has time to read.  He has taken up a hobby.  There’s game night with this kids.

I can’t solve every problem, but I can say enough. So what did I do this morning.  I worked a Bunny Breakfast for a group of preschoolers.  I got most of the shy ones so I coaxed smiles while I painted whiskers on faces and butterflies on hands.  Did I solve anything big?  Maybe not but while they were with me, those kids had an adult paying attention to them.

Small steps.  Quiet times.  Focus.

–SueBE

 

Have a Mary Little Christmas

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